Selling goods to passersby on the street, Jenny Caraballo describes her local communal council. “Some of our members are homemakers who want their community to be pretty,” Caraballo says while trying to make eye contact with potential clients in 23 de Enero, a barrio popular that is one of many rough areas in Caracas, Venezuela. […]
On Thursday, June 17, 2010, we made our way to the Caracas barrio of Chapellín. The barrio is a large, impoverished area developed through illegal land settlements over decades. We arrived at the Comuna of the barrio, a house taken over from drug dealers by local community activists, using finances from the Chávez government. Rosa María González, a leading activist in the Comuna, and spokesperson for Habitat and Land program in the barrio, took time out of her schedule to speak with us outside the house of the Comuna.
In 2005, during a visit to the South Bronx in New York City, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made a lofty promise to help active community members cope with local issues. A half-decade and a few million dollars later, Chavez’s promise has become a reality and residents from the community are reaping the benefits.
As Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution enters a new decade of struggle and defiantly advances towards its goal of ’21st Century Socialism,’ serious challenges to the future of the process emerging from both inside and outside the country still abound. Australian-based journalists and long-time Venezuela solidarity activists Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke have been carefully following Venezuela’s ongoing political transformation for several years now, countering mainstream media spin and providing invaluable on-the-ground coverage and analysis about the process as it unfolds.
With 184 socialist communes in construction in Venezuela, yesterday, during his weekly TV show Alo Presidente, president Hugo Chavez emphasised the need for “production independent of the capitalist market” in these communes and in general, and also directed Caracas mayor Jorge Rodriguez to expropriate buildings in plaza Bolivar in order to rescue the city’s history.
The latest complaint among the Venezuelan opposition to President Hugo Chávez revolves around his decision to bring Cuban Minister of Information Technology and Communications Ramiro Valdés to Venezuela to help rectify the current electrical crisis, intensified by diminishing water levels at the country’s primary hydroelectric dam.
There are many different ways that the corporate media continues to misrepresent the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. Many critics of this biased media coverage have directly challenged the demonization of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but very few critics, if any, have exposed the media’s virtual erasure of the vibrant and growing participatory democracy in Venezuela.
On Tuesday, the day after the national government granted more than 40,000 hectares of land to Yukpa indigenous communities in northwestern Venezuela, assassins attacked the community of Yukpa chief and indigenous rights activist Sabino Romero, killing two and injuring at least four.
Participatory democracy is a model that is becoming increasingly popular in Latin America, taking many different forms in the region. This form of democracy relies on the abilities of the people and creates a system that emphasizes the importance of direct and active involvement of citizens in political structures. […]
Since Hugo Chávez was elected president in 1998 and the traditional political parties Acción Democratica and COPEI lost power, the news media has become the greatest weapon of the opposition in a war against his administration and popular reforms. […]